Lego Knight

I’ve modelled Lego bricks in the past but this character which is a combination of Nexo Knights and Ninjago, created by my son Jay, looked like a worthy challenge with plenty of interestingly shaped pieces.

I decided to start with the wings, modelling flat to establish the base topology.

Next I selected the inner feather polygons and extruded upwards…

then the outer feather and outer edge and extruded downwards, working in Symmetry.

The most time was spent adjusting the topology to give the feathers separation once the sharpening cuts were introduced.

For this model I decided to unwrap each object on completion using 3D Coat. These feathers were tricky.

The next object was a clip that holds the feather onto the should armour.

The shoulder armour started out as a cube object, once again working in symmetry.

The mostly finished armour and a version with wings attached rendered using simple Redshift materials.

The lego man came next, starting with the legs.

Adjusted topology to fix the pinching created by having the diamonds on the edges and to dispense with the extra control cut shown in the example above. Thanks to Toby Pitman for calling me out on this!

The Lego arm was deceptively tricky. I started with a cylinder object for this and kept the edge count as low as possible to allow for clean curves under subdivision. The flat part was booled in then cleaned up.

The head started out as a Cylinder object and the torso as a Cube object. Starting to look good with the wings in place!

I took some snaps of the helmet with my phone to make attacking this section a little easier.

I decided low poly box modeling would be a more efficient approach to this helmet. Easier to establish the shape using the Brush tool to reshape in 4 views.

Once a smooth, overall shape was established using box modeling, I used that as a target to retopologise onto using the Shrink Wrap deformer.

The basic, low poly helmet, still smooth and holding it’s shape thanks to the Shrink Wrap deformer.

Next I used the Current State To Object command, then reapplied the Shrink Wrap again with the original template, but this time re-positioning edges & points using the Slide Tool and HB_LineUp Tool , and changing the flow in preparation for straight & clean extrusion of details.

Next I used the Current State To Object command to convert the object and used the Extrude tool to extrude in the depth and detail.

The completed helmet minus the visor.

This tutorial demonstrates how I approached the visor.

The finished visor.

Early stages of the shield. Once again I used snaps from my iPhone as guides, which are not perfect but better than having nothing at all.

The basic shield shape. The next step is to boole the hex/cylinder section in with the body of the shield, working in Symmetry of course.

Booled the top hex/cylinder section to the main part of the shield, working in symmetry. Connect & Deleted then cleaned up and added sharpening cuts. Cleaning up the Boolean was tricky but resulted in a clean and unified, all quads shape.

The completed shield with the front plate in place.

For the Aero Blade I started with a Cylinder object, working in double symmetry. The curved pipe started out as a Sweep objects which was made editable and welded onto the main cylinder.

The final base shape was easy to create using a Mograph Cloner object in Radial mode, making that editable, then extruding out the middle ring.

The fangs were created using a Sweep object with a soft selection in Dome mode to round out the tip. These were duplicated using the same Mograph Cloner in Radial mode.

The pistol started out as a couple of cylinder objects for the barrels and a cube for the main body. The cylinders for the grip and back are just temporary as these will be extruded out of the main body.


I felt the best approach for the main body was to box model in symmetry.

A more finished version, including the cylindrical extrusions.

The finished pistol.

Initial topology for the flame. I started at the bottom with a Disk object then used the Polygon Pen to draw in the geometry. Need to add edge loops next then extrusions.

Here’s a tutorial on how I approached rest of the flame piece.

Here’s the final model. The UV unwrapping was done in 3D coat then imported back into Cinema 4D where each part was subdivided (1) then exported in FBX format ready for import into Substance Painter.

I photographed the Lego figure and touched up the decals in Photoshop before importing them into Substance Painter for placement.

Here’s the Lego Man with all decals in place.

With the helmet and visor I decided to give the texture a slightly metallic finish and add a little wear and tear. I revisited the Lego Man to add these changes.

Masking out the scratches was a challenge but I found a solution and recorded a short screen cast to demonstrate.

Once the basic textures are right it’s easy to create Smart Materials from them and reapply to other parts of the model, change the base colour and fine tune from there.

I exported the textures from Substance Painter and applied them to the various objects using Redshift in Cinema 4D. Textures for the transparent plastic parts on the Aeroblade and flames were created directly in Redshift with the Substance Painter Roughness and Normal maps applied as textures. All lighting and rendering was done using Redshift. Glow for the helmet lamp and chromatic aberration was applied in After Effects.

  1. Simon Hepworth


    Aside from the fact that it’s great, what has mostly blown my mind is that you did all this with a mouse and not tablet?

    Colour me impressed!

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